The Top 7 Nepali Films You Must Watch To Help You Learn the Language

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Learning a new language can be a fun and enriching experience, especially when you immerse yourself in the culture of the country where the language is spoken. And what better way to do so than through the power of cinema?

Whether you are a film enthusiast or just want to delve deeper in the culture and traditions of Nepal, here are the top 7 best Nepali films you need to watch to help you learn the language.

An Overview of the Nepali Film Industry

Known as Kollywood, Nepali cinema has a rich history of film production dating back to the country’s first indigenous film, “Aama,” in 1964. Despite facing competition from the dominating Bollywood film industry, which releases 1000 films annually compared to the 95-100 films produced domestically in Nepal, Kollywood has maintained its vibrancy with a new generation of talented filmmakers.

It is characterized by unique storytelling, reflecting the country’s rich cultural heritage and providing a platform for filmmakers to showcase their talents. Films like “Pashupati Prasad”, “Himalaya” and “Loot” are shining examples of the emerging talent in the country, challenging traditional Bollywood movies and setting a new standard for its film scene.

The themes explored in Nepali movies are diverse, including historical events such as its civil war from 1996 to 2006, social and political change, and the quest for inclusion and transitional justice. Despite the domination of Bollywood in Nepal’s film market, Kollywood continues to thrive with a new generation of talented filmmakers and advancements in affordable digital technologies.

With the right support, Nepali movies have the potential to make a significant impact in the global film industry, promoting the country’s rich cultural heritage and showcasing the emerging talent of its filmmakers.

The Top 7 Best Nepali Movies

Nepali Films You Must Watch

Nepalese movies are beginning to ramp up their presence amid the dominance of Bollywood and other Indian-language films. While there are plenty of other Nepali movies worth watching, we’ve listed 6 excellent films that have pushed the boundaries in movie making in the country.

1. 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible

Nepal-born British filmmaker Nirmal Purja takes viewers on a breathtaking journey through his Project Possible quest as he and a team of Sherpas traverse 14 peaks above 8,000m, which they call the “Death Zone”. The movie revolves around the country’s connection to mountaineering and showcases over 100 hours of unique footage shot by Purja and his team.

From the summit of Mount Everest to the emotional weight of his mother’s illness, 14 Peaks is a thrilling story of courage, perseverance, and pushing human limits. Directed by Torquil Jones, the film is available to view on Netflix.

2. Himalaya

Himalaya is the first Nepali entry nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. It depicts the story of rivalry based on misunderstanding and distrust, between the aging chief, Tinle, and the young daring herdsman, Karma, who is both a friend and a rival to the chief’s family, as they struggle for leadership of a caravan that carries rock salt across the mountains to trade for grain.

It is set in the remote, high-altitude region of Dolpa in the Himalayas, and explores the culture and the traditional lifestyle of the upper Dolpo people. Himalaya is one of the best Nepali films you must watch, if you want to see the beautiful contrast of extreme environments with the delicacy of humanity and spirituality.

3. Loot

Loot is a 2012 crime thriller film directed and written by Nischal Basnet. Starring Saugat Malla and Dayahang Rai, among other top stars, the film follows five criminals as they plan to rob a bank in Kathmandu. The film received positive reviews and became one of the highest grossing Nepali movies of all time. Loot is credited for bringing realism to local cinema and attracting a younger audience.

It won three National Film Awards (the most prestigious award-giving body in the Nepali cinema industry) and developed a cult following, leading to the release of the successful sequel, “Loot 2” in 2017. The film is a landmark in the country’s cinematic history, being considered one of the best Nepali movies both critically and commercially.

4. The Kabaddi film series

Kabaddi is a true standout, as a series of acclaimed Nepali movies that have captivated audiences in the box office. Directed by Nischal Basnet and co-produced by Raunak Bikram Kandel, Sunil Rauniyar, and Nischal Basnet himself, this romantic drama film series showcases the captivating love triangle between Kazi, Maiyya, and Bibek.

With its rawness, engaging screenplay, and dynamic performances will keep you on the edge of your seat. With its blockbuster success at the box office, Kabaddi has become a cult classic that proudly stands as a landmark in modern Nepali cinema.

Still, the excitement doesn’t stop there! With two sequels, Kabaddi Kabaddi (2015) and Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi (2019), and the latest installment, Kabaddi 4: The Final Match (2022), becoming the highest-grossing film of all time in the country, the Kabaddi film series is the perfect way to enhance your language skills while enjoying the thrill of the big screen. All the Kabaddi movies are available to watch on YouTube.

5. Kagbeni

A haunting film that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat, Kagbeni is based on WE Jacob’s 1902 short story “The Monkey’s Paw,” showcases the beauty of Kagbeni, Jomsom, Marpha, and Shyang in the Mustang district. Directed by an innovative filmmaker, “Kagbeni” was the first successful non-commercial film to leave its mark on the Nepalese film industry.

Its captivating plot follows Krishna and Ramesh, two friends who encounter a cursed monkey paw that holds both the power to grant wishes and cause tragedies. Not only is this film a must-watch for horror fans, it’s also a great opportunity for those who want to learn and immerse themselves in the language.

6. Pahuna: The Little Visitors

A heartwarming children’s story that explores the theme of survival and resilience, Pahuna: The Little Visitors counts top Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra as one of its producers. The film is set in Nepal during a period of political unrest and follows the journey of three children who get separated from their parents and must bond together to make a new home for themselves as they reach India.

While the film is technically Indian, it is shot entirely in the Nepali language, and is an inspiring and uplifting tale perfect for language learners. It is available to stream on Netflix.

7. Pashupati Prasad

Directed by Dipendra K. Khanal, this heart-wrenching film tells the story of a young man, Pashupati Prasad, who lost his parents in the 2015 earthquake and is forced to move to Kathmandu to earn a living and pay off his father’s debt.

Despite facing challenges, he rises above them, finds hope, and makes new friends. The film has won critical acclaim, including Best Film, Best Writer, and Best Director at the 2016 National Film Awards in Nepal. Pashupati Prasad is a must-watch film that explores themes of perseverance, hope, and the Nepali way of life.

Take the Next Step in Your Nepali Learning Journey With Ling

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Want to start enjoying the best Nepalese movies even further? Start with Ling, the comprehensive and interactive language learning app. Ling simplifies the way you practice and master using Nepali terms and phrases, and makes it easier for you to watch the best Nepali movies on the big and small screen. You will even be prepared for traveling in Nepal!

Improve your speaking, listening, reading, and grammar skills with personalized lessons, games, quizzes, and puzzles. Plus, a built-in chatbot is always there to assist you and keep you on track.

Take your language journey to the next level with Ling. Download Ling from the App Store or Google Play now, and start using it as your guide while you watch Nepali movies!

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